A Helping Hand

The women's council of the Washington-based Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) is pleased to announce the establishment of a scholarship program to assist qualified individuals in their pursuit of an education that will lead to productive careers in the environmental industry. Two scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each will be awarded annually.

“We are very excited to be able to give back to the environmental industry by offering this opportunity to students wishing to specialize in the field,” says Women's Council President Xenya Mucha of John Deere Construction Equipment Co., Moline, Ill.

Employees of member companies of the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC) and their dependents are eligible. The criteria for being chosen include not only an interest in pursuing a career in the environmental industry, but also an interest in promoting the professional advancement of women in the industry. Applicants can be male or female.

The scholarships are subject to available funding and the decision of the Executive Committee of the EIA Women's Council. The application deadline is Feb. 1, 2007. Copies of the applicant's school transcripts, references and additional collateral material must be received no later than March 1, 2007.

The Executive Committee's final decision should be announced by the first week of May 2007. For full details on eligibility and selection criteria, and for a copy of the application, please visit the Web site www.envasns.org and follow the link to the Women's Council scholarship.

The scholarship is made possible through the funds that the EIA Women's Council has raised by publishing the coloring book “Where Does My Garbage Go?” The inaugural edition of the Women's Council coloring book was launched at WasteExpo 2006 in Las Vegas.

The 48-page coloring book is intended to educate children about the waste industry, including equipment, disposal processes and industry terminology. Sponsors paid $1,500 per page and were acknowledged by having their logo printed on pages of the coloring book.

The 2007 version is now being planned, and the Women's Council is asking for sponsors. To sponsor a page in the 2007 edition, or to place an early order, please visit the Web site listed above and click on the Women's Council link, or contact Peggy Macenas at (800) 679-6269 or [email protected]. The response to the 2006 edition was so great that the supply of the first coloring books was depleted by mid-2006.

In addition to the scholarship, the Women's Council provides other educational programs to the industry. The council hosts educational seminars at both WasteExpo and the EIA Executive Round Table. During WasteExpo 2007 in Atlanta, the council will host a boxed lunch seminar on alternative fuels and their impact on waste equipment. Members of the council also participate in “Lunch and Learn” teleconferences addressing such issues as alternative fuel, the importance of communication and growing your business.

The focus of the EIA Women's Council is to unlock the full potential of female employees, owners and operators for the benefit of waste companies and the waste industry as a whole through meaningful and useful education, assistance, support and mentoring. The ultimate purpose of the council is to create a gender-neutral waste industry. Getting there will require the ability of women to leverage their talent.

Nancy Bretas is the communications manager for Republic Services Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the chair of the EIA Women's Council's Community Relations Committee.